Strategy Against Signposts is a work that was carried out during a 14-week artists residency at West Cork Arts Centre in Skibbereen, Co. Cork. This page is a repository of digital information produced and collated during that period. The work culminated as a studio exhibition at the West Cork Arts Centre as part of the Skibbereen Arts Festival 2016.
This project has been made possible by funding from Cork County Council Arts Office.
10422.28416.002/ Phyllitis Scolopendrium (Hart’s Tongue Fern)/ 51.552774, -9.269587
Dedication Plaque to the new bypass- 2003
The bypass of Skibbereen lies to the North of the town. The bypass (which is built upon/ through ‘The Marsh’; effectively a flood plain, or the buffer for the effects of the mercurial nature of the Ilen river) snakes traffic (tractors, cars with locals, cars with tourists, cars with blow-in’s, cars with passer-by’s, trucks with goods, trucks with bads, trucks with animals (alive and/or dead (frozen)), trucks with other trucks, trucks with tools, vans, bicycles, walkers (head-up-swinging-arms-colourful-attire and eyes-down-darkly-clothed-hands-in-pockets), runners, dogs). The bypass creates a container for the potential water and a contained repository for ill-feeling. This is the most interesting place of all I have come across in these travels so far. The bypass is a wall, the river is a barrier and the contested space created in the container between the two is the place of shit (that was to be a floating car park). More visits here will be.
As for the bypass itself and the dedication plaque- opened by the late Seamus Brennan- Minister for Transport at the time, on December 1st, 2003. An Irish Times article detailing the opening of the bypass contains a notable mistake. It refers to the number of the road as the N17 (Galway/ Sligo), where in fact the name/number of the road is N73. Tim O’ Brien (@TheIrishTim), correspondent with the Irish Times obviously had the famous Saw Doctors song (written 14 years earlier) worming in his ear as he wrote the article. Press play and listen as you read the rest of the blog posts.
The song is a romantic reflection of an Ireland viewed from somewhereelse, as so many songs were. It is a re-imagining of the trope that includes “I Wish I Was Back Home I Derry”, etc…. longing for home being a very human thing indeed. The camera never lies, there are no unintentional mistakes, only fissures in the fabric of remembering.
The Hart’s Tongue fern sample was collected from the back of the dedication monument. It is a hardy thing that grows in dark, damp places in little or no soil. It clings tenaciously and firmly to rocks, and sucks nourishment into its flat leaf. It flourishes in a place that does not want it.
10422.28416.001.1/ Golf Ball (Foxcliff)/ 51.550142, -9.267953
This object was found at the North end of the (suspentionbridgethatneverwassupposedtobe). The convergence of the Ilen and the Caol, the apparent centre of the place, the trading post, contested space #1. There is liberty and a slight civil disobedience in driving a golf-ball through a wasteland, towards the center of power. A slight misbehavior wrapped in an accepted middle-class leisure activity driven with malice towards the center of the universe.
Foxcliff golf club is in Martinsville, Indiana, USA. A middle-of-the-range-run-of-the-mill-kitchen-sink golf club. One can only suppose that it was a tourist or accomplice that carried out this act.
10422.23416.002/ Shopping List/ 51.549208, -9.266497
A shopping list found outside Field’s Supervalu, the heart of Skibbereen town, the potential blocking-point of the (suspentionbridgethatneverwassupposedtobe).
carrots, soup, E45 Cream, toilet rolls, sugar (normal), veg, meat, tea, few sachets of cat food, yogurts, bread, milk, bananas!, fruit, ham, jaffa cakes, cornflakes
10422.23416.001/ Pencil/ 51.549809, -9.262458
The pencil that was found on the rock by the paddock on the day of the first walk that was the work of SB and the guests to the studio who watched the documentary about the man who walks around London that we saw before we took the sunny walk to the rock that…